Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Psalm 119:25 - 80

Study 96 – Psalm 119:25-48

1.      The world is full of distractions to God’s Word. The psalmist calls these “worthless things.” It is always the worthless things that keep us from studying the Word of God. God’s Word helps us distinguish the honorable from the worthless and gives us the tools necessary to fight temptation when it arises in our lives.

2.      We need to pray for a proper understanding for God’s Word, a desire to feast on God’s Word, and for liberation from those ‘worthless things’ that will distract us from spending time in His Word.

Study 97 – Psalm 119:49-80

1.      Suffering has turned the psalmist toward the Law of God and he has found comfort and deliverance in the obedience of its precepts. The Lord allows us to suffer and brings judgment upon us in order to turn us to himself. He does this so that He will receive worship both from us and from those that see the blessing of God upon our lives when we are in right standing with Him.

2.      When we reflect on the ways that God has moved in our lives in the past we are using those times as stepping stones toward a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Him. Reflection upon His past deliverance, forgiveness, and times of judgment serve as guides for us in our worship of Him. They should also deepen our resolve to follow His decrees.

3.      Those that love the Lord keep His commandments!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Some Thoughts on Prayer

Prayer is mortal man’s way of entering into the chamber of the King. Once inside that chamber we should become so enamored with His glory that we have no option other than to get on our face before Him, praise Him, and seek His counsel on how best we can serve His kingdom. He in turn promises to endow His worshipers with power and gifts (weapons) necessary in order to accomplish His purpose. Too often we see prayer as our access into His throne room in order to have Him accomplish our desires rather than the reverse.
Here’s how Jesus defined prayer: “Our Father which art in heaven; Hallowed be thy name; Thy Kingdom come; Thy Will be done on Earth just like it is in Heaven; Give us this day our daily bread – (Just enough for today); Forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us; Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory Forever.”
The results we are looking for are the results that He needs to happen in order for Him to receive glory, not what we need to happen in order to accomplish our desires. He knows what we NEED before we even ask. But, we have no idea what He DESIRES from us, unless we pray!
When we pray for the sick we are praying for the strengthening of Kingdom warriors. When we pray for financial help we should be praying for release from stress that keeps us from doing Kingdom business or the finances necessary to accomplish it. We are told to pray for harvest laborers. We are told to pray for wisdom. We are told to pray for those that are captive to sin and demonic activity. Prayer is a power encounter, a battle, and a relationship with the King.
Here is something that I have discovered when it comes to any aspect of theology. What works in America had better work in Bangladesh or Guinea-Bissau. If it doesn’t translate to the mud huts of the interior of West Africa then my interpretation of His Word is in error. This goes with prayer as well. I think that what I have stated works no matter where one is on the planet.
We approach God with our prayer list; instead we should be going to Him in order to receive His. I feel that God’s prayer list and our prayer list are rarely the same. We need to make sure that we have the proper list in hand. Once we have the right list then we can be certain that we will be praying a prayer that will accomplish its purpose.

Psalm 116 - 119:24

Study 93 – Psalm 116

1.      It is in the midst of trouble that the psalmist cries out to the Lord for help. His cry does not fall on deaf ears and the psalmist is not disappointed in the response. The Lord hears us when we cry out to Him and He saves!

2.      The prayer of the psalmist began in anguish, changed into thanksgiving, and ended with a promise to fulfill his vows to the Lord in the presence of all of the people.

Study 94 – Psalm 117 and 118

1.      “His love endures forever!” That knowledge cannot help but create an attitude of thanksgiving and worship!

2.      The King had been under attack and surrounded on all sides by his enemies. He also had to face his own shortcomings. God delivered him from both his enemies and from himself. Praise God! He still does the same today. Oftentimes, my greatest enemy is myself. Thank you Lord from saving me from me!

Study 95 – Psalm 119:1-24

1.      In order to live a pure life we must live in obedience to God’s Word. The temptation is to fulfill the lusts and desires of our own flesh. The Lord calls us to crucify our flesh and to take up the cross of the Living Word. Obedience to God’s Word is our only hope for joy and peace.

2.      The motivation of obedience to God’s Word is the knowledge that it is only when we abide in His Word and follow His commands that we can live in true joy and peace. Our responsibility is to abide by His Word and the responsibility of His Spirit is to convict us by reminding us of His precepts.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Psalm 113 - 115

Study 91 – Psalm 113 and 114

1.      In psalm 113 the Lord is said to have no equal in His position, power and authority, and His desire to lift up those that are on the margins of society.

2.      In His deliverance of the His chosen people from Egypt the Lord would allow nothing to stand in His way. The Sea, the mountains of the wilderness, and the Jordan River could not keep God from fulfilling the promise that He had made to those that He had entered into a covenant relationship with. God keeps His promises to His people!

Study 92 – Psalm 115

1.      This psalm mocks the idol worshiping nations around them by making fun of their idols. Their idols are described as voiceless, sightless, mindless, and armless pieces of wood and stone that are powerless to do anything on their behalf. Our God, however has power to move on behalf of all those that fear Him. There are none that our God cannot elevate by His power.

2.      This psalm demands us to praise such a powerful God that is willing to come to the aid of such powerless beings as ourselves.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Psalm 110 - 112

Study 89 – Psalm 110

1.      The new King Solomon will have a reign of peace yet one in which he will have an army standing at the ready to do battle on his behalf. Jesus came to be the Prince of Peace in much the same way that Solomon was the King in a time of peace. It was at the resurrection that the Father accomplished peace on behalf of His Son. When the body of Jesus was at rest the power of God was at work!

2.      We can be assured from the multiple repetition of this verse in the New Testament that the Lord wages battle on behalf of His saints!

3.      The King of Kings would not have a line of succession. There will be none to come after Him!

Study 90 – Psalm 111 and 112

1.      When you begin to examine the ways in which God blesses you it is impossible to not have a response of praise as a direct result.

2.      Those that want to please God will have a fear of the Lord that will cause them to walk in accordance with His commands. They will give generously and will lend freely. They will also conduct their affairs in a just manner. Such a man can expect the blessings of God upon himself and his family. God will intervene on behalf of the righteous!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Psalm 107 - 109

Study 85 –Psalm 107:1-32

1.      Some wandered in the desert; some sat in darkness and deep gloom because they had rebelled against the Lord; some suffered affliction because of their rebellious ways; others were merchants of the sea and encountered terrible storms. All cried out to the Lord. Some cried out in repentance while others cried out for aid. The Lord heard them all and came to their rescue.

2.      Those that were rescued by their cry out to the Lord are called to make the Lord’s saving power known to all those that surround them.

3.      Over and over again in the ministry of Jesus we see people calling out to Him, touching the hem of His garment, or dropping their friends through the roof. Jesus was always willing to reach out to those that reached out to Him even to the moment that He reached out to the thief on the cross.

Study 86 – Psalm 107:33-43

1.      There is absolutely nothing that God cannot change in order to move on behalf of His people! No situation or circumstance is beyond His ability to reverse it in order to accomplish His will. If we want to participate in His blessings and have Him move on our behalf then we must live in obedience to His Word.

2.      The Lord can turn deserts into rivers or rivers into deserts. He can turn salt field into a fertile plain or He can turn a fertile plan into a salt field. The Lord will do whatever it takes in order to accomplish His purpose. At times that means cursing what He has previously blessed. When we come to a place of repentance then and only then will He reverse the situation once again.

Study 87 – Psalm 108

1.      The opening line states, “My heart is steadfast.” Our problem with worship is that are hearts are too up and down. We are emotional roller coasters that can only praise Him when things are up. The secret to worship from the depths of one’s soul is a heart that is ‘steadfast.’ When our feet hit the floor in the morning we need to begin our day in worship rather than disgust. We need to arise with thankfulness rather than depression.

2.      The closing verses paint a picture in my mind of the utter ease at which the Lord has in declaring victory on behalf of His people. It is as easy for Him to do as it is for me to throw my coat over the chair, kick off my shoes, and sit in the recliner when I walk in the door after a hard day’s work. The Lord is not rattled by our difficulties!

Study 88 – Psalm 109

1.      The psalmist was a man of praise and one that extended the love of friendship toward those around him. The false accusations surrounding him were completely unfounded. This psalm is proof that the righteous will not be exempt from attack from those that are closest to them.

2.      The extent to which the psalmist requests punishment toward his accuser seems tremendously harsh, yet the reason for such a harsh request is that righteousness is at stake. The psalmist wants the punishment of his accuser to serve as a signpost for all that would oppose righteousness in the future. Better for one family to be destroyed than for others to follow in their footsteps because they have not been warned of the danger of opposing the righteous.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Psalm 107:1-32

Study 85 –Psalm 107:1-32

1.      Some wandered in the desert; some sat in darkness and deep gloom because they had rebelled against the Lord; some suffered affliction because of their rebellious ways; others were merchants of the sea and encountered terrible storms. All cried out to the Lord. Some cried out in repentance while others cried out for aid. The Lord heard them all and came to their rescue.

2.      Those that were rescued by their cry out to the Lord are called to make the Lord’s saving power known to all those that surround them.

3.      Over and over again in the ministry of Jesus we see people calling out to Him, touching the hem of His garment, or dropping their friends through the roof. Jesus was always willing to reach out to those that reached out to Him even to the moment that He reached out to the thief on the cross.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

1 Chronicles 28

Study 13 – 1 Chronicles 28

  1. My plan was to be a missionary in Africa forever. The Lord had other ideas. That was a very tough pill for me to swallow. There are times when you have to lay the groundwork and let someone else come in and build the structure. The glory does not come in what part of the structure that you build, the glory comes in being used by the Lord in whatever capacity that He desires whether that be the foundation below the surface that holds everything up and no one ever sees or the pinnacle of the edifice that can be seen everywhere from the surrounding countryside.

    David had laid the groundwork. Solomon was to take it to the next level. Had David thought that he had to build the temple he would have rushed the groundwork and the Temple would never have been as glorious as what Solomon was able to accomplish.

  2. Solomon’s first duty was obedience to the Lord and His commands. He was to search the will of God with all of his heart. His second obligation was to do the work without fear. The Lord was not to be messed with! IF you seek Him then he’ll be there for you, if you don’t prepare to be left in the dust! Solomon was able to have confidence in a couple of areas: first, the Lord had chosen him to build the Temple; secondly, the Lord would provide him with the laborers and the leaders necessary to get the task done. Solomon merely needed to obey the Lord.

As a leader my obligation is to the Lord and the Lord alone. He will bring the willing people across my path and He will help me accomplish His work. There need be no manipulation on my part in order to line up the people that I need in my corner. God will take care of that. The only one that I must make sure is in my corner is the Lord!

Monday, February 13, 2012

1 Chronicles 21 - 27

Study 9 – 1 Chronicles 21:1-22:1

  1. David had let his victories go to his head. He had allowed all of the praise to fuel his narcissistic darkside. The size of David’s army was not the source of victory. The victory was due to the blessing of God. By numbering the troops David was taking responsibility for victories away from the blessing of God. The fact that David placed himself in the hand of God for three days rather than place his confidence in his million man army for three months and the fact that David refused to sacrifice an offering that cost him nothing are signs of true repentance.

  2. The Lord offered David a choice and He was willing to stop the hand of the angel of destruction before the allotted three day time period was up. The very site at which the Lord stopped the destruction was the site at which David’s son Solomon was to later build the Temple of God.

Study 10 – 1 Chronicles 22:2-19

  1. David was well aware that there was nothing more important than the worship of the Lord. For this reason he went to the most extravagant means in the preparation for building the Temple. He wanted the entire world to know that God was at the center of the culture of the nation of Israel and that He was worthy of the very best that they could offer.  This was so contrary to the people in Malachi’s day that were willing to offer lame and blind sacrifices on the altar of the Lord. David also knew better than to go against the command of God and start building the temple on his own.

  2. Key to the success of the nation of Israel and necessary before even construction on the Temple began would be the devotion of heart and soul to seeking the Lord by being careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord had given Moses for Israel.

Study 11 – 1 Chronicles 23 and 24

  1. The Levites that were sons of Aaron were the priests who served in the presence of the Lord the rest of the Levites had the responsibility of serving as attendants of the priests and were to help them in their work in the Temple. The duties of the Levites to carry the tabernacle and its furnishings were no longer necessary because God had allowed Israel to find rest in the land.

  2. Christ became our High Priest forever and all of us serve Him by being obedient to the Word of the Lord. We no longer need the sacrificial system and everything that goes with it because our Great High Priest has become the sacrifice for us.

Study 12 – 1 Chronicles 25 – 27

  1. The sons of Asaph, Hemam and Jeduthun were set apart for the ministry of praise. Their ministry of praise is called prophesying because prophecy simple means declaring the Word of the Lord. We far too often think that prophesying only consists of telling of future events. Overwhelming in the Word of the Lord prophecy is a reference to declaring the Word of the Lord.

  2. In the New Testament the Apostle Paul refers to the Church as a body or a living organism. In that illustration he makes it clear that there are different ministries for different people and that all are needed in order to fulfill the will of God as we work in His Kingdom.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

1 Chronicles 17 - 20

Study 7 – 1 Chronicles 17

  1. Even though David was the most powerful man in the nation of Israel he still understood his need to receive a Word from the Lord. David understood his role in the Kingdom of God and understood his need to be in submissive to God’s Word and realize that it is very easy to confuse God’s Word with one’s own desires. Therefore, he allowed Nathan to speak into His life.

  2. God let David know that He was more than satisfied with a tent. God isn’t impressed by Cedar logs and gold. The Lord also wanted to make clear that His presence could not be confined. The tent made it obvious that the presence of God could easily be moved from one location to another. A temple had the negative impact of believing that one could confine God’s presence and thereby insist that His presence never leave.

    God turned the request around and demonstrated His tremendous grace by claiming that instead of David building a great house for His presence, that God would build David into a great house (dynasty) from which His presence would come – the Christ! David was blown away and makes that clear in his worshipful prayer of 1 Chronicles 17:16-27.

Study 8 – 1 Chronicles 18 – 20

  1. David did “what was just and right” in the eyes of the Lord on behalf of his people Israel. As a result of the way in which David governed Israel the Lord ensured that he would have victory in battle. We can have the same assurance as well if we obey His Word.

  2. The misunderstanding between the Ammonites and Israel led to massive destruction. When seeking counsel from others we need to be very careful to find out all sides of the story. Rash actions are rarely good ones.

  3. Joab was a relentless warrior on David’s behalf and pressed the battle until the very end. Joab was extremely loyal to David. However, upon the death of David, Joab aligned against Solomon, David’s son and was killed in the temple court for his treasonous act.

Monday, February 6, 2012

1 Chronicles 12 - 16:6

Study 3 – 1 Chronicles 12

  1. The Benjamites: skilled with the bow and sling
    The Gadites: skilled with shield and spear as well as ability to run
    The  men of Judah: shield and spear
    The men of Levi: leaders and officers
    The men of Ephraim: Famous for bravery
    The men of Manasseh: provided aid against raiding bands
    The men of Issachar: Visionaries that understood the times and what needed done.
    The men of Zebulun: experienced with every type of weapon
    The men of Naphtali: shields and spears
    The men of Dan: ready for battle
    The men of Asher: men of experience
    The men of Reuben, Gad: brought every type of weapon

    Each one of these tribes brought their own unique set of gifts to the battlefield. What one tribe lacked in strength or knowledge was made up by those of another tribe. The body of Christ functions in the same way. The fact that all of these men volunteered and were dependent upon others for their own lack of gifts in certain areas made them into a strong army.

  2. The characteristics that stand out to me among these lists are: leadership, bravery, and the ability to understand the times. Unfortunately, I find these gifts lacking in the Church of America today. I am thankful that they are present among many here at The StoreHouse, but we need more brave people that can understand the times that we are in and will take on the mantel of leadership in order to accomplish the mission.

Study 4 – 1 Chronicles 13 and 14

  1. The king and all involved were guilty. Especially the Levites for not following through on God’s instructions to shoulder the Ark while transporting it. God requires us to shoulder the responsibility of obedience. We can’t just worship any way that we want to. True worship is worship that follows the commands of God whether they are to our liking or not.

  2. David inquired of God before going into battle and didn’t presume victory on his own. He was also careful to burn the idols left behind by the retreating Philistines rather than run the risk that Israel would adopt them as their own.

Study 5 – 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:6

  1. This time David made sure that the Levites directed the return of the Ark of the Covenant and he placed the blame of the former disaster squarely on their shoulders because it was, after all, their responsibility to see to the transport of the Ark.

  2. The Ark stood for the very presence and blessing of God upon His people. David was overjoyed that the presence of God would now dwell in the center of his kingdom and he anticipated all of the blessings of God that would come with it. He also realized that he was not fit to stand as king before the King of the Earth and joyfully disrobed before the presence of the Ark.

Friday, February 3, 2012

1 Chronicles 1 - 11

Study 1 – 1 Chronicles 1-9

  1. Jabez ‘cried out to the Lord’ and Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh prepared themselves for battle while at the same time they placed their trust in God to wage war on their behalf.

  2. The business of worship is serious business; it is a detailed business; it is a business in which every aspect must be attended to with tremendous organization and care. God wants nothing left undone when it comes to how we come together as a community of believers to worship Him. He deserves the very best that we can offer and He needs every one of us to do our assigned task in His kingdom>

Study 2 – 1 Chronicles 10 and 11

  1. Saul’s downfall was due to his unfaithfulness to the Lord and his failure to keep His Word coupled with the fact that he consulted a medium rather than the Lord for direction.

  2. David’s men were willing to lay down their lives for their King. David, likewise was willing to lay down his life for them and honored them with same measure that he was honored.

James 5

Study 7 – James 5

  1. Being rich isn’t the problem. The way one obtains their wealth and the way one uses that wealth are what determines whether or not riches will begin to rot. Our wealth should be used for the advancement of the Kingdom of God rather than for the advancement of our own agendas. When we learn to control our agendas and our desires and have a willingness like Abraham to give up everything; a willingness like Rahab to lay our own lives on the line; and a willingness like Job to never give up no matter how difficult the times may become then we become candidates for the fullness of God’s compassion and mercy.

  2. The greatest thing we can do to help others is to not keep them in the dark as to what is happening in our lives. If God is blessing us, then we need to sing for joy so that others will know of His blessings. If we are in trouble or are sick then we need to let others know so that God can use their faith and their gifts to minister to our need.

    Prayer has the power to do what no man can do, but only if we don’t ask in a double-minded way. We must have faith like Abraham and Rahab who were willing to lay everything on the line. It is prayers from the likes of Abraham and Rahab that move heaven and earth.